This is the description and follow-up for how I made my standing desk prototype, and some discussion of the what the actual project will be like.
Original Inspirations:This is one of the most popular standing desks, judging my the commercials for it on TV. But it can be very expensive: two hundred dollars or more. This desk is nice because of the clean, industrial chic style. However, it is only adjustable with a lot of effort, which makes it more of a permanent either standing or sitting desk. I find this design attractive because it is simple. No moving parts, simple to manufacture. But this requires a) an original desk and b) enough space on the desk to put the ‘standing’ structure. Lastly, this desk solves the problems a) and b) and is easy to adjust, but seems much too heavy for an office space.
Starting with these initial ideas floating around in my head, I started to draw my design. for various reasons, the designs ran into road blocks, as I will explain here.
This design was too expensive, and probably too heavy for what it needs to do, and what I want it to look like. It’s also difficult to get all those gears to line up right.
A little simpler, with only one rack and pinion, but still ugly-ish, not fragile enough.
It’s too complex in these previous drawings. The purpose of this idea was to explore increasing delicacy and simplification of mechanisms and cost
Making the desk as a desk-top desk would make it smaller, and therefore cheaper. But the biggest problem with this is that there is really limited space below the table top to put mechanisms.
That’s true, that the threaded rod is more elegant, and it is more versatile. In this design, the desk top spins to make the table go up and down. Not ideal if you’ve got a cup of flaming coffee on it.
More focused internet inspirations
This section is about focusing more on individual pieces from my chosen design:
This is the final chosen idea from the ideation steps. A heavy, yet hollow base has a plastic, thick rod through it and a bushing. The table top is attached to the rod. The desk simply slides up and down, and a brake in the form of holes through the rod ,with a peg in it (This will make more sense with the prototype, later)
One idea I had for the base, to make it heavy, yet simple was to make it from concrete, like so:Smooth, industrial yet simple. I have to think more about what it takes to make concrete look like an indoor instead of outdoor effect. For the table top, it would be nice if it looked heavy, but was not. This kind of table top is hollow on the inside, to make it light. Maybe I can do something like that.
The prototype itself:
As you can see, when the desk is in the “siting” position, the middle stem is mostly all the way inside the base. Then the user would pull the desk up, and insert the peg to keep it there. Multiple holes in the stem allow for different heights.
How It’s made:
- The base.
Cover the flowerpot in podge-modge glue, then use some sand from the backyard to sprinkle on the glue. Let it dry, and then put some grey spay paint on it, and let that dry.
2. Cutting the wood pieces
I used balsa wood for the table top, and the piece that connects the base and the stem. I used a fine-toothed saw, a drill bit, and a sandpaper to make it work. I used the drill hit to cut a too-small hole for the stem, by hand, then sandpaper on a pencil to make it just large enough to accommodate the stem. Lastly, I cut out the circle from the wood, after having traced the flowerpot bottom circle onto it.
3. Making the stem
Then I used a piece of polystyrene tubing (the kind used for model building, from McGuckins) and drilled holes in it for the brake peg, and cut it a decent length.
4. Let it dry, and put it all together with superglue
Artistic and functional goals
- The prototype gets the point across
- Base still not heavy enough
- Stem does not slide very smoothly
- I like the cement look of the base
- The holes in the stem aren’t straight, might need machining on the real thing
- The ratios are not entirely accurate
- Time to upscale!
- Need to think more carefully about large-scale aesthetics
- Need to think more about fasteners not present in prototype
Thank you for taking the time to look at my prototype!